Welcome back to the Orientation Blog! Today, we are talking about what we wish we knew before coming to college. We hope these reflections can serve you as you navigate this transition to Hope! Here’s what we wish we knew:
I wish I knew that a meaningful life takes time to build. I moved into college with the mentality that everything would perfectly fall into place the minute I arrived. Instant deep friendships, instant academic success, and instant community were all things I fully expected. Days, weeks, even a few months passed and I found myself with an empty heart. My high expectations kept me from focusing on building up connections; pushing me instead to be constantly disappointed with who I was with and where I was.
It wasn’t until a Wednesday in my FYS that I found a turning point. My professor brought in a student who had taken the same FYS in past years, and she talked candidly about how she felt her freshman year. She told a story that matched up exactly with how I felt. “Good things are coming. You have potential. Finding a life that is meaningful to you takes time,” she said. That night, I looked around at my community, at my classmates, and at my beautiful, albeit confusing, life, and was able to appreciate right where I was at. So, before college, I wish I knew to be patient with my dreams. Hope College is here to welcome you and help you prosper, but establishing it as your home might take time, and that’s okay. It will be worth the wait!
I wish I knew to be patient with my dreams.
As we move through life, there are so many things we go through and then reflect on how they changed who we are and our beliefs. For me, moving to college was one of those major moments in life. I grew up going to a K-12 school, with a very small class, and my entire family was involved in the school system in some way. Within my first few months at Hope, I slowly realized some things that I was beginning to reflect on. Coming from my small school and town I grew up in my whole life, I wish I would have been more prepared for the difference in the amount of people and different ways I would connect with them. My small bubble I had grown up in had nothing on the completely wonderfully, well-rounded individuals I would encounter upon arriving and getting settled at Hope. In conjunction with this, I wish I would have known how to create and maintain relationships with people better than I thought I knew. With a small environment came being friends with who was around and not having a huge choice in who to have relationships with or how to keep those healthy. I became quickly overwhelmed at Hope while trying to make friends and figure out how to manage who I wanted to be in those relationships. However, 3 years later, I am here to tell you that the point of having that reflection time in our lives is to see how far we have come. Being able to see how much my eyes and heart have been opened since my time at Hope College is the most remarkable thing. One day, you will be able to look back on what you wish you would have known, too, and see that not knowing helped you to grow and prosper in a way that would not have happened if you knew.
I am here to tell you that the point of having that reflection time in our lives is to see how far we have come.
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